With a tax levy increase below the ‘cap,’ budget strengthens support for students

On Tuesday, May 15, voters in the Niskayuna Central School District approved an $84.2 million school budget for the 2018-19 school year by a vote of 1,186 yes votes (69 percent) to 525 opposed (31 percent).

The budget calls for a 2.64 percent tax levy increase, which is below the district’s limit for the year of 3.07 percent based on the state tax-cap calculation.

The spending plan continues all current student programs and contains a series of additions to meet identified needs, strengthen student support systems, manage class sizes, and expand special education programs. The overall spending increase for budget includes a spending increase of $2.8 million.

The tax levy increase enabled the budget additions, which include two elementary social workers and additional teaching staff to manage class sizes at the elementary level and Van Antwerp Middle School. In all, the budget budget funds the full-time equivalent of approximately 17 additional positions.

Budget decisions were informed by the district’s Strategic Plan, which contains three major areas of focus: curriculum & programs; environment & culture; and partnerships.

In addition to the proposed budget, voters on May 15 approved the purchase of six buses as part of the district’s long-term bus replacement plan and elected Howard Schlossberg to a second term on the Board of Education and Noney Grier to a first term